This Was The Deadliest Flood In Ohio History

By Logan DeLoye

August 12, 2022

Ohio Flood
Photo: Getty Images

The Ohio flood of 1913 remains the most devastating natural disaster to ever hit the state. What started as unusually heavy rain in March of 1913 turned into an extremely fatal event that would be recalled for decades to come. According to Ohio History Central, the flood of 1913 was so devastating that canal locks were blown up with dynamite to ease the flow of water throughout the Miami Valley region. Blowing up the canal locks did not provide the flood relief that officials of the era had hoped for. In an unfortunate turn of events, using dynamite on the locks entirely ended transportation along Ohio canals.

Ohio History Central reported that a whopping 428 people died during the flood with the most devastation occurring in Dayton. Flood waters reached over 20-feet tall throughout the city and took down power lines, causing fires. Over 20,000 homes were uninhabitable after flood waters ravaged the region. Not only was there an immense amount of property damage to civilian homes, but factories and railroads also suffered. A few railroads that were destroyed in the flood, along with the canal locks, were never rebuilt.

Due to the impact of the flood, watershed districts were set up across Dayton in an effort to prevent a similar disaster from impacting the area as negatively as the flood of 1913.

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